One Outlet to Two Switches to control each Plug?

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  #1  
Old 10-11-12, 08:19 AM
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One Outlet to Two Switches to control each Plug?

Been searching the forums here and do not think I found what I need to do exactly...so I would greatly appreciate some help!

I have a onan generator wired to two outlets (4 plugs). Is there a way I could wire each 'plug' to a switch so a total of four plugs and four switches? I want to be able to control each one independently. Is this possible?

The devices I have need to be turned on at different times so would like this. If someone could detail how to wire each outlet I could duplicate on the other outlet.

Sure appreciate it!
Kevin
 
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Old 10-11-12, 08:29 AM
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You could break the tab between the brass screws on each receptacle and wire a single pole switch in the incoming power ahead of the receptacles. The switch controlled hot would go to a brass screw on the receptacles.

How many circuits do you need?
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-12, 09:06 AM
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Two circuits...

Is there some wiring diagram anywhere for this? I do better with pictures lol..

thanks kevin
 
  #4  
Old 10-11-12, 12:41 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Is there some wiring diagram anywhere for this? I do better with pictures lol..
Doubtful, but it should be fairly straightforward to explain. Are you working with two existing circuits, or are you planning to run new ones? 15A or 20A?
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-12, 12:49 PM
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2

The generator has two 20a breakers with each wired to an outlet giving me 4 plugs. So I assume this is two circuits.

Thanks
 
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Old 10-11-12, 01:02 PM
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The generator has two 20a breakers with each wired to an outlet giving me 4 plugs. So I assume this is two circuits.
Yes, that would be two circuits. By plug do you mean a duplex receptacle with two places to plug in.

More importantly why are you doing it this way. I can't think of a good reason why you would. Generally you would run a 4 conductor service cable to an inlet and transfer switch.

Safety note: You can NOT connect the generator to your household electrical supply without a transfer switch or interlock.

Tech note: Plugs are male. Receptacles are Female. Inlets are male.A receptacle is often called an outlet but the NEC simply defines an outlet as a place where power can be drawn from so a light is also an outlet under that definition.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 01:07 PM
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right

I am not saying it properly... two duplex receptacles are available to me... my apologies..

thank you,
Kevin
 
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Old 10-11-12, 03:09 PM
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The generator has two 20a breakers with each wired to an outlet giving me 4 plugs. So I assume this is two circuits.
Ah! You're asking for advice on how to add switches and separate the receptacles built into your generator so that you can switch each of them on or off. Sorry, not interested. That does not seem like something that would contribute to the health and well-being of the generator or its owner.

But now I'm curious. What is your goal? What is it you're trying to accomplish? There may be any number of other solutions that would help you meet that.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 09:14 PM
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hmm

Well it is an Onan generator and must be wired to to some sort of outlet/receptacle. It is not a simple home generator out of the box with outlets.

The generator is on a food truck in an outside compartment. So I have three compressors to run off one generator and do not need them running at the same time. So I wanted to have switches inside the truck which control the receptacles so i can turn on whichever as needed without running outside to swap wires.

Note I am not connecting it in any way to my house.

Not sure I understand the last reply that it will not contribute to the health of the generator or owner.

Hope someone can assist.

Thanks Kevin
 
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Old 10-11-12, 09:28 PM
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Well it is an Onan generator and must be wired to to some sort of outlet/receptacle. It is not a simple home generator out of the box with outlets.

The generator is on a food truck in an outside compartment. So I have three compressors to run off one generator and do not need them running at the same time. So I wanted to have switches inside the truck which control the receptacles so i can turn on whichever as needed without running outside to swap wires.
These should have been the first two paragraphs of your first post.
It is not a simple home generator out of the box with outlets.
Are you saying it has no receptacles? If so how do you connect to it? But wait earlier you said it had two duplex receptacles. What is the watts output of the generator. Is it a 120/240 volt or 120 volts only.

From what you have written if it has a 240/120 outlet your best solution might be a small six space breaker box with switch rated (most are) breakers. Use a simplex not duplex receptacle for each compressor to plug into. Two of the remaining breakers could be used one for general lighting and one for general purpose receptacles.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-11-12 at 09:44 PM.
  #11  
Old 10-11-12, 09:43 PM
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yes

Hi
Yes I should have said this. The onan 6500 watt generator has two lines coming from it with each line wired 120v to a duplex receptacle. So this is how it is wired and can be used.

All I wanted to do was to avoid running outside and plug/unplug the compressors each time I needed to. I thought I could wire in a switch for at least each line but then thought that I might need to be able to control all four receptacles individually.

The breaker box is a nice idea but that would only give me two 'switches' wouldnt it? I really just wanted four simple switches if possible.

thanks kevin
 
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Old 10-11-12, 09:58 PM
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The breaker box is a nice idea but that would only give me two 'switches' wouldnt it?
Depends on your answers to my previous questions. Does the generator have a 120/240 four wire plug? What is the running watts of the generator? What is the full load amps of each compressor. It is possible to do it with just switches and multigang boxes also but if you give us details we can tailor the solution to what you have and what you need.

What is the model number of your generator?
 
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Old 10-11-12, 10:02 PM
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No 120/240 plug... it is simply two duplex receptacles. It does not look like a home depot type where it offers you four receptacles or a larger 30 amp receptacle. Generator is 6500 watts running...emerald GENSET III 6.5kw.

Not sure of the amps per compressor off the top of my head.

Thanks
 
  #14  
Old 10-11-12, 11:05 PM
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Here is my problem in deciding what to tell you. If the the total FLA for any two compressors exceeds 20 amps you can only run one compressor per circuit but you only have two circuits for three compressors so how do you spread three loads across two circuits if you can only put one load on each circuit. It may be the FLA is small enough to put two compressors on a single circuit. That will make it easier but you still have general purpose receptacles and lighting to consider.
 
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